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Lawmaker wants additional judge for Indiana

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A bill proposed this week would add a new federal judgeship to the Southern District of Indiana, a recommendation that's been pitched for years but has failed to garner enough legislative support.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Tuesday introduced the Federal Judgeship Act of 2009 that would add 63 new judgeships - temporary or permanent - throughout the country, including the one in Indiana. The Northern District of Indiana and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals are not part of that proposal, which has been co-sponsored by Indiana's Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh.

The text of that legislation isn't yet available, but a news release from Leahy's office outlines the new judgeships he's proposing.

Boosting the judicial roster in that District Court has been on the table for many years, and Leahy pitched similar legislation last year. That legislation made it to the Senate Judiciary Committee but stalled after Republican lawmakers declined to conduct a hearing for testimony.

This new legislation follows a recommendation earlier this year from the federal judiciary's policymaking Judicial Conference of the United States, which proposed adding those judgeships in order to help reduce the backlog in the nation's courts. The Judicial Conference also voted in 2007 to add another judge to the Southern District, which has had five permanent judges since 1978.

Timing of this legislation would benefit the Southern District, if passed. While the court has a roster of five active judges, one of those slots is currently open after Judge Larry McKinney took senior status in July, although he will maintain a full caseload until a successor is named. Also, Chief Judge David F. Hamilton is awaiting a confirmation vote by the Senate for possible elevation to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. If that happens, there will be an additional open slot on the District Court. If all that materializes, it would necessitate three judicial nominations for the court.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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